HB 16-1405 (Hamner/Lambert) Appropriations Bill (The State Budget)

Originally Posted: April 1, 2016
Last Updated: April 22, 2016

Summary

This bill, often referred to as the “Long Bill,” is the Joint Budget Committee’s budget package for state fiscal year 2016-2017. The Long Bill is accompanied by a package of bills that help to balance the state budget.

Position

The Children’s Campaign is pleased by a number of provisions in this year’s Long Bill and supporting budget bills, including:

  • No across-the-board reductions in the rates paid to community providers, including health and child care providers.
  • No increase to the size of the K-12 “negative factor.”
  • $20 million in targeted funds to Medicaid primary care providers.
  • $2.5 million for family planning services.
  • An additional $6 million of marijuana revenue for the nurse home visitor program
  • Modest funding increases for child care assistance.
  • Expansion of early intervention services to keep up with caseload growth.
  • New allocations of federal funds for child care quality initiatives, licensing visits, and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists in Colorado.

However, due to our state’s fiscal constraints, many aspects of our state budget were also reduced or cut, or remained flat even where new investment is needed.

Current Status

The final version of the Long Bill was approved by the House and the Senate and now awaits the Governor’s signature.

Previous Statuses


April 15, 2016

The Joint Budget Committee met this week to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, and approved the House version of the Long Bill. This version includes an amendment we supported that was adopted in both the House and the Senate, that will provide additional support to implement the Pay For Success Program created by HB 15-1317, which the Children’s Campaign led advocacy efforts on last session. This policy opens the door to potential new investments in early childhood and prevention-oriented health services for children and families. This version of the bill also includes additional funding for the Colorado Family Planning Initiative in the Department of Public Health and Environment, even though amendments were proposed in both chambers that would have stripped this funding. We were pleased to see the inclusion of this funding, given the success of the family planning program since additional funding was made available in 2009. Since then, Colorado has seen a significant increase in the use of the most effective forms of birth control, and reductions in unintended pregnancies, teen births and abortions. The Joint Budget Committee also approved amendments to provide $100,000 in funding to the Office of Suicide Prevention, and funding for the Department of Revenue to investigate fraud related to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The final version of the Long Bill was approved Friday in the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 29-5 and now heads to the House for a final vote.

April 8, 2016

The Long Bill was debated and voted on in the Senate this week and passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support on a vote of 30-5. The Joint Budget Committee will now meet to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. We will monitor this discussion closely to ensure the positive steps included in the budget are retained and that progress for kids is not rolled back.

April 1, 2016

The Long Bill was debated and voted on in the House this week and passed the House on a bipartisan vote of 39-26. The Long Bill will be debated in the Senate next week.